42 USC 1769 - Pilot projects

(a) Pilot projects for administration of child nutrition programs by contract or direct disbursement 
The Secretary may conduct pilot projects in not more than three States in which the Secretary is currently administering programs to evaluate the effects of the Secretary contracting with private profit and nonprofit organizations to act as a State agency under this chapter and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.] for schools, institutions, or service institutions referred to in section 1759 of this title and section 5 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. 1774].
(b) Extension of eligibility of certain school districts to receive cash or commodity letters of credit assistance for school lunch programs 

(1) Upon request to the Secretary, any school district that on January 1, 1987, was receiving all cash payments or all commodity letters of credit in lieu of entitlement commodities for its school lunch program shall receive all cash payments or all commodity letters of credit in lieu of entitlement commodities for its school lunch program beginning July 1, 1987. The Secretary, directly or through contract, shall administer the project under this subsection.
(2) Any school district that elects under paragraph (1) to receive all cash payments or all commodity letters of credit in lieu of entitlement commodities for its school lunch program shall receive bonus commodities in the same manner as if such school district was receiving all entitlement commodities for its school lunch program.

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(c) Alternative counting and claiming procedures 

(1) 
(A) The Secretary shall carry out a pilot program for purposes of identifying alternatives to
(i) daily counting by category of meals provided by school lunch programs under this chapter; and
(ii) annual applications for eligibility to receive free meals or reduced price meals.
(B) For the purposes of carrying out the pilot program under this paragraph, the Secretary may waive requirements of this chapter relating to counting of meals provided by school lunch programs and applications for eligibility.
(C) For the purposes of carrying out the pilot program under this paragraph, the Secretary shall solicit proposals from State educational agencies and local educational agencies for the alternatives described in subparagraph (A).
(2) 
(A) The Secretary shall carry out a pilot program under which a limited number of schools participating in the special assistance program under section 1759a (a)(1) of this title that have in attendance children at least 80 percent of whom are eligible for free lunches or reduced price lunches shall submit applications for a 3-year period.
(B) Each school participating in the pilot program under this paragraph shall have the option of determining the number of free meals, reduced price meals, and paid meals provided daily under the school lunch program operated by such school by applying percentages determined under subparagraph (C) to the daily total student meal count.

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(C) The percentages determined under this subparagraph shall be established on the basis of the master roster of students enrolled in the school concerned, which
(i) shall include a notation as to the eligibility status of each student with respect to the school lunch program; and
(ii) shall be updated not later than September 30 of each year.
(3) In addition to the pilot projects described in this subsection, the Secretary may conduct other pilot projects to test alternative counting and claiming procedures.
(4) Each pilot program carried out under this subsection shall be evaluated by the Secretary after it has been in operation for 3 years.
(d) Fortified fluid milk 

(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall establish pilot projects in at least 25 school districts under which the milk offered by schools meets the fortification requirements of paragraph (3) for lowfat, skim, and other forms of fluid milk.
(2) The Secretary shall make available to school districts information that compares the nutritional benefits of fluid milk that meets the fortification requirements of paragraph (3) and the nutritional benefits of other milk that is made available through the school lunch program established under this chapter.
(3) The fortification requirements for fluid milk for the pilot project referred to in paragraph (1) shall provide that
(A) all whole milk in final package form for beverage use shall contain not less than
(i) 3.25 percent milk fat; and
(ii) 8.7 percent milk solids not fat;
(B) all lowfat milk in final package form for beverage use shall contain not less than 10 percent milk solids not fat; and
(C) all skim milk in final package form for beverage use shall contain not less than 9 percent milk solids not fat.
(4) 
(A) In selecting where to establish pilot projects under this subsection, the Secretary shall take into account, among other factors, the availability of fortified milk and the interest of the school district in being included in the pilot project.
(B) The Secretary shall establish the pilot projects in as many geographic areas as practicable, except that none of the projects shall be established in school districts that use milk described in paragraph (3) or similar milk.
(5) Not later than 2 years after the establishment of the first pilot project under this subsection, the Secretary shall report to the Committee on Education and Labor, and the Committee on Agriculture, of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate on
(A) the acceptability of fortified whole, lowfat, and skim milk products to participating children;
(B) the impact of offering the milk on milk consumption;
(C) the views of the school food service authorities on the pilot projects; and
(D) any increases or reductions in costs attributed to the pilot projects.
(6) The Secretary shall
(A) obtain copies of any research studies or papers that discuss the impact of the fortification of milk pursuant to standards established by the States; and
(B) on request, make available to State agencies and the public
(i) the information obtained under subparagraph (A); and
(ii) information about where to obtain milk described in paragraph (3).
(7) 
(A) Each pilot project established under this subsection shall terminate on the last day of the third year after the establishment of the pilot project.
(B) The Secretary shall advise representatives of each district participating in a pilot project that the district may continue to offer the fortified forms of milk described in paragraph (3) after the project terminates.
(e) Breakfast pilot projects 

(1) In general 
Subject to the availability of funds made available under paragraph (10), for a period of 3 successive school years, the Secretary shall make grants to State agencies to conduct pilot projects in elementary schools under the jurisdiction of not more than 6 school food authorities approved by the Secretary to
(A) reduce paperwork, simplify meal counting requirements, and make changes that will increase participation in the school breakfast program; and
(B) evaluate the effect of providing free breakfasts to elementary school children, without regard to family income, on participation, academic achievement, attendance and tardiness, and dietary intake over the course of a day.
(2) Nominations 
A State agency that seeks a grant under this subsection shall submit to the Secretary nominations of school food authorities to participate in a pilot project under this subsection[1]
(3) Approval 
The Secretary shall approve for participation in pilot projects under this subsection elementary schools under the jurisdiction of not more than 6 nominated school food authorities selected so as to
(A) provide for an equitable distribution of pilot projects among urban and rural elementary schools;
(B) provide for an equitable distribution of pilot projects among elementary schools of varying family income levels; and
(C) permit the evaluation of pilot projects to distinguish the effects of the pilot projects from other factors, such as changes or differences in educational policies or programs.
(4) Grants to school food authorities 
A State agency receiving a grant under paragraph (1) shall make grants to school food authorities to conduct the pilot projects described in paragraph (1).
(5) Duration of pilot projects 
Subject to the availability of funds made available to carry out this subsection, a school food authority receiving amounts under a grant to conduct a pilot project described in paragraph (1) shall conduct the project during a period of 3 successive school years.
(6) Waiver authority 

(A) In general 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary may waive the requirements of this chapter and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) relating to counting of meals, applications for eligibility, and related requirements that would preclude the Secretary from making a grant to conduct a pilot project under paragraph (1).
(B) Nonwaivable requirements 
The Secretary may not waive a requirement under subparagraph (A) if the waiver would prevent a program participant, a potential program participant, or a school from receiving all of the benefits and protections of this chapter, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.), or a Federal law (including a regulation) that protects an individual constitutional right or a statutory civil right.
(7) Requirements for participation in pilot project 
To be eligible to participate in a pilot project under this subsection
(A) a State agency
(i) shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as the Secretary shall establish to meet criteria the Secretary has established to enable a valid evaluation to be conducted; and
(ii) shall provide such information relating to the operation and results of the pilot project as the Secretary may reasonably require; and
(B) a school food authority
(i) shall agree to serve all breakfasts at no charge to all children enrolled in participating elementary schools;
(ii) shall not have a history of violations of this chapter or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.);
(iii) shall have, under the jurisdiction of the school food authority, a sufficient number of elementary schools that are not participating in the pilot projects to permit a valid evaluation of the effects of the pilot projects; and
(iv) shall meet all other requirements that the Secretary may reasonably require.
(8) Evaluation of pilot projects 

(A) In general 
The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, shall conduct an evaluation of the pilot projects conducted by the school food authorities selected for participation.
(B) Content 
The evaluation shall include
(i) a determination of the effect of participation in the pilot project on the academic achievement, attendance and tardiness, and dietary intake over the course of a day of participating children that is not attributable to changes in educational policies and practices; and
(ii) a determination of the effect that participation by elementary schools in the pilot project has on the proportion of students who eat breakfast and on the paperwork required to be completed by the schools.
(C) Report 
On completion of the pilot projects and the evaluation, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing the results of the evaluation of the pilot projects required under subparagraph (A).
(9) Reimbursement 

(A) In general 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a school conducting a pilot project under this subsection shall receive a total Federal reimbursement under the school breakfast program in an amount that is equal to the total Federal reimbursement for the school for the prior year under the program (adjusted to reflect changes in the series for food away from home of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor and adjusted for fluctuations in enrollment).
(B) Excess needs 
Funds required for the pilot project in excess of the level of reimbursement received by the school for the prior year (adjusted to reflect changes described in subparagraph (A) and adjusted for fluctuations in enrollment) may be taken from any non-Federal source or from amounts provided under this subsection.
(10) Authorization of appropriations 

(A) In general 
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection.
(B) Requirement 
No amounts may be provided under this subsection unless specifically provided in appropriations Acts.
(f) Fresh fruit and vegetable program 

(1) In general 
For the school year beginning July 2004 and each subsequent school year, the Secretary shall carry out a program to make free fresh fruits and vegetables available, to the maximum extent practicable, to
(A) 25 elementary or secondary schools in each of the 4 States authorized to participate in the program under this subsection on May 1, 2004;
(B) 25 elementary or secondary schools (as selected by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (3)) in each of 4 States (including a State for which funds were allocated under the program described in paragraph (3)(B)(ii)) that are not participating in the program under this subsection on May 1, 2004; and
(C) 25 elementary or secondary schools operated on 3 Indian reservations (including the reservation authorized to participate in the program under this subsection on May 1, 2004), as selected by the Secretary.
(2) Program 
A school participating in the program shall make free fresh fruits and vegetables available to students throughout the school day in 1 or more areas designated by the school.
(3) Selection of schools 

(A) In general 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in selecting additional schools to participate in the program under paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary shall
(i) to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that the majority of schools selected are those in which not less than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under this chapter;
(ii) solicit applications from interested schools that include
(I) information pertaining to the percentage of students enrolled in the school submitting the application who are eligible for free or reduced price school lunches under this chapter;
(II) a certification of support for participation in the program signed by the school food manager, the school principal, and the district superintendent (or equivalent positions, as determined by the school); and
(III) such other information as may be requested by the Secretary;
(iii) for each application received, determine whether the application is from a school in which not less than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under this chapter; and
(iv) give priority to schools that submit a plan for implementation of the program that includes a partnership with 1 or more entities that provide non-Federal resources (including entities representing the fruit and vegetable industry) for
(I) the acquisition, handling, promotion, or distribution of fresh and dried fruits and fresh vegetables; or
(II) other support that contributes to the purposes of the program.
(B) Nonapplicability to existing participants 
Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a school, State, or Indian reservation authorized
(i) to participate in the program on May 1, 2004; or
(ii) to receive funding for free fruits and vegetables under funds provided for public health improvement under the heading disease control, research, and training under the heading Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in title II of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 (Division E of Public Law 108199; 118 Stat. 238).
(4) Notice of availability 
To be eligible to participate in the program under this subsection, a school shall widely publicize within the school the availability of free fresh fruits and vegetables under the program.
(5) Reports 

(A) Interim reports 
Not later than September 30 of each of fiscal years 2005 through 2008, the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an interim report that describes the activities carried out under this subsection during the fiscal year covered by the report.
(B) Final report 
Not later than December 31, 2008, the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a final report that describes the results of the program under this subsection.
(6) Funding 

(A) Existing funds 
The Secretary shall use to carry out this subsection any funds that remain under this subsection on the day before June 30, 2004.
(B) Mandatory funds 

(i) In general On October 1, 2004, and on each October 1 thereafter, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out this subsection $9,000,000, to remain available until expended.
(ii) Receipt and acceptance The Secretary shall be entitled to receive, shall accept, and shall use to carry out this subsection the funds made available under this subparagraph, without further appropriation.
(C) Authorization of appropriations 
In addition to any amounts made available under subparagraphs (A) and (B), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to expand the program carried out under this subsection.
(D) Reallocation 
The Secretary may reallocate any amounts made available to carry out this subsection that are not obligated or expended, as determined by the Secretary.
(g) Summer food service residential camp eligibility 

(1) In general 
During the month after June 30, 2004, through September, 2004, and the months of May through September, 2005, the Secretary shall modify eligibility criteria, at not more than 1 private nonprofit residential camp in each of not more than 2 States, as determined by the Secretary, for the purpose of identifying and evaluating alternative methods of determining the eligibility of residential private nonprofit camps to participate in the summer food service program for children established under section 1761 of this title.
(2) Eligibility 
To be eligible for the criteria modified under paragraph (1), a residential camp
(A) shall be a service institution (as defined in section 1761 (a)(1) of this title);
(B) may not charge a fee to any child in residence at the camp; and
(C) shall serve children who reside in an area in which poor economic conditions exist (as defined in section 1761 (a)(1) of this title).
(3) Payments 

(A) In general 
Under this subsection, the Secretary shall provide reimbursement for meals served to all children at a residential camp at the payment rates specified in section 1761 (b)(1) of this title.
(B) Reimbursable meals 
A residential camp selected by the Secretary may receive reimbursement for not more than 3 meals, or 2 meals and 1 supplement, during each day of operation.
(4) Evaluation 

(A) Information from residential camps 
Not later than December 31, 2005, a residential camp selected under paragraph (1) shall report to the Secretary such information as is required by the Secretary concerning the requirements of this subsection.
(B) Report to Congress 
Not later than March 31, 2006, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that evaluates the effect of this subsection on program participation and other factors, as determined by the Secretary.
(h) Access to local foods and school gardens 

(1) In general 
The Secretary may provide assistance, through competitive matching grants and technical assistance, to schools and nonprofit entities for projects that
(A) improve access to local foods in schools and institutions participating in programs under this chapter and section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773) through farm-to-cafeteria activities, including school gardens, that may include the acquisition of food and appropriate equipment and the provision of training and education;
(B) are, at a minimum, designed to
(i) procure local foods from small- and medium-sized farms for school meals; and
(ii) support school garden programs;
(C) support nutrition education activities or curriculum planning that incorporates the participation of school children in farm-based agricultural education activities, that may include school gardens;
(D) develop a sustained commitment to farm-to-cafeteria projects in the community by linking schools, State departments of agriculture, agricultural producers, parents, and other community stakeholders;
(E) require $100,000 or less in Federal contributions;
(F) require a Federal share of costs not to exceed 75 percent;
(G) provide matching support in the form of cash or in-kind contributions (including facilities, equipment, or services provided by State and local governments and private sources); and
(H) cooperate in an evaluation carried out by the Secretary.
(2) Authorization of appropriations 
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009.
(i) Year-round services for eligible entities 

(1) In general 
A service institution that is described in section 1761 (a)(6) of this title (excluding a public school), or a private nonprofit organization described in section 1761 (a)(7) of this title, and that is located in the State of California may be reimbursed
(A) for up to 2 meals during each day of operation served
(i) during the months of May through September;
(ii) in the case of a service institution that operates a food service program for children on school vacation, at anytime under a continuous school calendar; and
(iii) in the case of a service institution that provides meal service at a nonschool site to children who are not in school for a period during the school year due to a natural disaster, building repair, court order, or similar case, at anytime during such a period; and
(B) for a snack served during each day of operation after school hours, weekends, and school holidays during the regular school calendar.
(2) Payments 
The service institution shall be reimbursed consistent with section 1761 (b)(1) of this title.
(3) Administration 
To receive reimbursement under this subsection, a service institution shall comply with section 1761 of this title, other than subsections (b)(2) and (c)(1) of that section.
(4) Evaluation 
Not later than September 30, 2007, the State agency shall submit to the Secretary a report on the effect of this subsection on participation in the summer food service program for children established under section 1761 of this title.
(5) Funding 
The Secretary shall provide to the State of California such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2009.
(j) Free lunch and breakfast eligibility 

(1) In general 
Subject to the availability of funds under paragraph (4), the Secretary shall expand the service of free lunches and breakfasts provided at schools participating in the school lunch program under this chapter or the school breakfast program under section 4 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1773) in all or part of 5 States selected by the Secretary (of which at least 1 shall be a largely rural State with a significant Native American population).
(2) Income eligibility 
The income guidelines for determining eligibility for free lunches or breakfasts under this subsection shall be 185 percent of the applicable family size income levels contained in the nonfarm income poverty guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget, as adjusted annually in accordance with section 1758 (b)(1)(B) of this title.
(3) Evaluation 

(A) In general 
Not later than 3 years after the implementation of this subsection, the Secretary shall conduct an evaluation to assess the impact of the changed income eligibility guidelines by comparing the school food authorities operating under this subsection to school food authorities not operating under this subsection.
(B) Impact assessment 

(i) Children The evaluation shall assess the impact of this subsection separately on
(I) children in households with incomes less than 130 percent of the applicable family income levels contained in the nonfarm poverty income guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget, as adjusted annually in accordance with section 1758 (b)(1)(B) of this title; and
(II) children in households with incomes greater than 130 percent and not greater than 185 percent of the applicable family income levels contained in the nonfarm poverty income guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget, as adjusted annually in accordance with section 1758 (b)(1)(B) of this title.
(ii) Factors The evaluation shall assess the impact of this subsection on
(I) certification and participation rates in the school lunch and breakfast programs;
(II) rates of lunch- and breakfast-skipping;
(III) academic achievement;
(IV) the allocation of funds authorized in title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.] to local educational agencies and public schools; and
(V) other factors determined by the Secretary.
(C) Cost assessment 
The evaluation shall assess the increased costs associated with providing additional free, reduced price, or paid meals in the school food authorities operating under this subsection.
(D) Report 
On completion of the evaluation, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing the results of the evaluation under this paragraph.
(4) Authorization of appropriations 
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this subsection, to remain available until expended.
[1] So in original. Probably should be followed by a period.